Integrity is the key in politics

I have tremendous admiration for highly capable and intelligent women such as Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga and Trudy Stevenson. I admire them because of the resolute stand they have taken on the importance of integrity in politics. This is the basis on which they

have taken a strong, even personal, position against Morgan Tsvangirai, and by way of contrast have tied themselves hip-to-hip to the principled Welshman Ncube and stood by him in everything that the Professor does.
I have no doubt that, being smart and principled women, they have opted for this fellowship with Professor Ncube after a diligent tour of the facts. They have obviously considered the integrity that enabled Professor Ncube to enter into constitutional deals with Chinamasa and South African President Mbeki, in which he excluded his leader, the troublesome Mr Tsvangirai, who at the time sat in a much-deserved prison cell at Rhodesville police station.
They have looked at the integrity with which three people, Professor Ncube, Dulini-Ncube and Isaac Maphosa managed the funds of the MDC over five years until October 12 of last year, during which period they had the care and integrity to make important residential property investments in Cape Town for the good of the party, even as they refused to sign cheques to put fuel into Mr Tsvangirai’s cars – or who knows what integrity-lacking mischief that man and his violent bodyguards might have been up to with fuel in their petrol tanks?
They have considered the integrity that enabled Ncube to keep away in his black Mercedes and laugh at the efforts of Tsvangirai to walk to work in solidarity with the poor and suffering masses of Zimbabwe – what poor and suffering Zimbabweans was Tsvangirai talking about? Ms Misihairambwi and Ms Stevenson, bra-burning feminist champions, have no doubt also carefully juxtaposed on a well-calibrated scale of integrity the way Ncube and Tsvangirai have related to women in their careers and individual lives, over the years.
In the process, they no doubt found that Ncube has had sufficient integrity not to discriminate against any of the women who may need his consorting and principled patronage, be those women one time Registrars of the High Court (Peace Be Upon Her), or one-time Daily News corporate lawyers, or one-time leaders in Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, or indeed workers within the MDC offices.
Stevenson and Misihairambwi have also seen Ncube’s immense foresight in seeking to block the appointment to a lectureship at the University of Zimbabwe of Lovemore Madhuku who Ncube had by then already foreseen would grow to become a rabid supporter of sexist, nepotistic, tribalistic, violent, Tsvangirai. Their balance sheet would also have looked at the patriotism of Ncube, who, working as an important University Proctor, carried the University Mace on behalf of our President Robert Gabriel Mugabe and expelled from University many a student leader who dared draw early national attention to Mugabe’s dictatorship, while the unprincipled Tsvangirai once again demonstrated his lack of patriotism by defending those student leaders, even sitting in a jail cell in 1989 for publicly protesting the harassment of then student leaders Arthur Mutambara and Munyaradzi Gwisai.
They have also no doubt carefully weighed the way Ncube deals with collective decision-making, an alien word for Tsvangirai. They have seen how Ncube managed to manipulate and bribe-lobby behind the scenes on and just before October 12 for the triumph of the vote for a Senate, that great collective decision-making institution that is benefiting the vast majority of our people.
In contrast, Tsvangirai once again frustrated the will of the people by articulating their opposition to the Senate project outside the context of comprehensive constitutional reform and a roadmap for the restoration of democratic legitimacy. Stevenson and Misihairambwi were quite right that what mattered then was not the voices of ordinary grassroots members of the MDC that Tsvangirai insisted were being fraudulently misrepresented by self-interested individuals in the October 12 party executive meeting, but rather the voices of Ncube and 32 other selfless men and women of integrity who were being blocked by Tsvangirai in their report back on the overwhelming national consensus for Senate. And what detractor is so biased against the integrity of Prof Ncube to not applaud his collective decision-making in single-handedly going to shop for Arthur Mutambara to lead his faction of the party ahead of Chimanikire who was mobilising on the ground for the leadership of that faction. And what of that showmanship that inflicted Tsvangirai to have so many numbers at the bigger MDC’s Congress?- who doesn’t know that numbers do not matter – you can’t do collective decision-making with crowds! What of the violence! Ms Misihairambwi and Ms Stevenson are of course correct that by simply looking at the angelic face of Prof Ncube, you have to dismiss offhand claims that he organised his supporters to remove the eye of a Tsvangirai supporter in Bulawayo. At the same time, by simply looking at Mr Tsvangirai’s face, and by having Ncube. Misihairambwi and Stevenson repeat the mantra often enough (even as Tsvangirai does not malign them back in the media), it should be obvious that Tsvangirai is violent. There cannot be any doubt that he personally directed his supporters to beat up Stevenson- an angel who was busy minding her clean political business in Mabvuku-Tafara.
How can Tsvangirai not be violent, when men and women of integrity repeatedly say he is? And even when Arthur Mutambara begins to see the importance of being where the people are and starts talking to Tsvangirai at the Save Zimbabwe Convention, it is the great integrity of Ncube that decides not only to NOT attend the convention but also to later bring Mutambara back to line and rebuke him for embracing Tsvangirai in public, against “our principles and values”.
In essence, Mushonga and Stevenson know that Professor Ncube has a long-standing record of integrity and commitment to ordinary people’s lives, while Mr Tsvangirai is violent and individualistic, so much that in a Moto article long back even Jonathan Moyo hailed Tsvangirai’s consistency in listening to the will of voiceless poor people. As for us the ordinary and voiceless people of Zimbabwe, unable to make deals with Chinamasa or to speak with the lawyerly eloquence, non-violence, (and integrity) of Professor Ncube, what can we do? Tinotarisa zvedu takanyarara asi musafunga kuti hationi. Icho! (We look at what’s going on and we keep quiet – but it doesn’t mean that we are blind.)

Post published in: Opinions

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